While watering and weeding my gardens this morning I noticed that the first zucchini fruits have appeared (yes, we like to call them "vegetables," but technically the parts we eat are the fruit of the ovary of the female zucchini flower). I rolled the dice this spring - a mild and warm April - and began planting seeds a few weeks earlier than normal. Thus, I will not have to wait until July to eat homegrown zucchini.
I am also experimenting this summer with a planting rotation whereby every two weeks or so I put another dozen zucchini seeds in the ground. My goal is to have a moderate amount of zucchini ripening all summer long instead of a glut of zucchini in mid-July for which I have to find willing recipients among my neighbors, family, and coworkers.
I used to be among the "grow-the-biggest-zucchini" gardening crowd, but my wife educated me that the best-tasting and juiciest zucchini are the ones that are just a few days old and that measure 9 to 12 inches in length. Few gardening pleasures can top the taste of a fresh-picked zucchini on scorching summer afternoon.